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Helping you build truly dynamic and stateful web applications!

About The EchoPoint Project

By Brad Baker
Thursday, August 08, 2002

More information about EchoPoint and Echo can be found at http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/echopoint and http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/echo.

The EchoPoint project provides a rich collection of web components which seamlessly integrate with the Echo Web Framework (hereafter known as Echo). We believe that EchoPoint, combined with Echo, provides one of the simplest and richest frameworks for Web application development.

EchoPoint is built upon a web framework called Echo.  Echo is an open source project created by a company called NextApp.  NextApp describe Echo as follows :

"Echo is a framework for developing object-oriented, event-driven Web applications. Echo removes the developer from having to think in terms of "page-based" applications and enables him/her to develop applications using the conventional object-oriented and event-driven paradigm for user-interface development. Knowledge of HTML, HTTP, and JavaScript is not required.

Echo is open-source software distributed under the terms of the GNU LGPL License. Echo is currently in a state of public preview. The Echo software, documentation, and tutorial are all under active development."

Echo itself provides a number of base components, such as buttons, checkboxes, text fields and list boxes.  A Swing like event model is provided behind these components which allows Java code to be attached to these user interface components and to allow application code to be executed.

Echo allows developers to create their own custom components, with full support for actions and events within the framework. 

And this is what the EchoPoint project is all about, providing a library of Echo components.

EchoPoint contains a number of components, such as TabbedPanes, Trees, ImageMaps, ChartPanels, DatePickers, GroupBoxes, ColorChoosers, FontChoosers and many more, that are built using the base Echo classes.

EchoPoint components are very easy to use.  For example to add a DatePicker object, that responds to all input and handlers events internally for navigation and the like, you simple would code something like

   DatePicker dp1 = new DatePicker();
// change listener event handler -- very Swing like
public void stateChange(ChangeEvent e) {
if (e.getSource() == dp1) {


This will add a DatePicker component, that informs the all ChangeListeners of any changes to the selected date.    The DatePicker then renders itself and looks something like :


All of this is handled within the application Java code.  Notice that there is no coding of HTML, no JavaScript, no manual linking of fields to actions.  Try doing this with native JSP or even some of the JSP inspired frameworks such as Apache Struts.

Under the covers, HTML is generated.  This is a web framework after all.  But this is all done by the well tested backend component peer.  The application developer works in terms of Java objects, like the DatePicker shown above or a TextField or ListBox or Button.

Stay tuned for a more detailed explanation of EchoPoint and the code contained within.  I plan to write more articles on the strengths of EchoPoint and the Echo framework and when you might want to use them.



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